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Subject:Re: FWD: Not Wanted--Technical Writers From:Hillary Jones <hillary -at- NICHIMEN -dot- COM> Date:Tue, 16 Dec 1997 09:37:22 -0800
> I'm not saying that this is never the technical writer's fault. I
> know it frequently is. But I, for one, am NOT taking the fall for
> this. I used to love this profession. I don't need some 23 year old
> "poet" with a superiority complex to tell me how to do my job. I need
> the busybodies to get the hell out of my way and let me do it.
> I hate this field sometimes. And this article just makes me feel
> worse. How DARE these people force me to create documentation that I
> am downright ashamed of, then blame ME for it?
To whoever wrote this: you're not alone. I, and a lot of tech writers I
know, are frustrated and tired of getting the bad rap.
IMO, the problem is that people think *anyone* can do technical writing.
After all, if I know English and can type, then I can write usable
documentation and help, right? Have you ever come up against a grumpy
SME who thinks he/she can write better documentation than you? Or the
"poet" for that matter.
Another comment: The thing that makes technical writing hard is that it
doesn't take place in a vacuum--you've got your boss pulling at you one
way, and the guy at work who's a "power-user" pulling another way, and
the marketing and sales people pulling another way, and the new intern
shyly (or insistently) giving you the "new user" perspective. Your final
document is not the dreamed of, polished, happy piece of documentation
that is inspired solely by audience analysis and your superior
skills--it's a hodge-podge of compromise that you finally just print out
and send out the door because you don't want to hold up the release
hillary -at- nichimen -dot- com